A link containing some wonderful photographs from the first winter Olympics in Chamonix, France was brought to my attention by reader and friend, Wendy. I just couldn’t resisted reposting them along with Figure 1, which shows three time gold medalist in men’s figure skating, Gillis Grafström, of Sweden, in Chamonix in 1924.
About 250 athletes participated in the 1924 winter Olympics and there were 16 events including: alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating. The winter games were held regularly every four years until 1936. The 1940 games were awarded to Saporo, Japan but this was cancelled with the Japanese invasion of China. The Winter Olympics resumed in 1948. They held every four years. In 1992 it was decided to stagger the winter and summer games by two years. So the winter games were held in 1992 and then again in 1994, when the four year cycle resumed.
Pictures such as these evoke two feelings, to me at least. One is a sense of nostalgia and the lost innocence of simplicity. The games have become multimedia events and very glitzy. The other sense, and maybe it’s because of what’s going on outside my window right now, is one of how cold everything looks. But several points are universal, the spirit of youth and the concept of bridging borders through sports.